There isn’t a day that’s gone by over the past few weeks when Pete and I haven’t said how lucky we feel. Of course we have our own worries and challenges, work-related, finance-related, health-related. But we have a home we love, we have each other and we have food. And just like everyone else across the country, our home has become our everything.
We’ve always appreciated where we live and don’t really have any plans for at least the next 20 years to ever move. Now though it’s all undertaking a new level of scrutiny as we’re cooking, exercising, relaxing, sleeping, working, living, hell just functioning all within the confines of one building. I’ve been working from home for over a year so not much changes but even though there’s just two of us we’re using our home in a very different way to make sure that we can give each other space and still enjoy each other’s company.
Working From Home
The first few days of Pete working from home which was the week before lockdown officially started, I sat comatose on the sofa not daring to move a muscle in case I disturbed him. He was stressed settling into his new working environment (he’s taken over our home office and still does very long days) and I, so used to being at home by myself from 6am to 8pm, was having to adjust to not having time to myself.
A few weeks on though I think we’ve got things sorted and I’ve finally realised I too need to get back to “work”. Being freelance during this time is a bit strange – typical blogging work has more or less dried up but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t still be creating content and I’ve struggled to find a balance and meaning lately. I’m enjoying pottering around at home, doing more work on the garden, cooking dinners but it’s not exactly making a contribution to the household.
The New Bedroom Office
So yesterday I decided that I too needed my own space to settle with my laptop and one that wouldn’t involve contorting my body into weird shapes (the sofa) or falling asleep (the bed). So I’ve set about creating a multi-purpose room using the bedroom. Once the weather gets warmer I may migrate into the dining room but for now, my new home office is my dressing table in our bedroom and I think it’s going to be just PERFECT.
Now, I know everyone says you should never work from the place you sleep in and I totally get it. However our bedroom makes a lot of sense. It’s a big room so I don’t feel I’m impinging on my sleeping space at all. It’s the warmest room in the house for the permacold in me and it’s also the brightest room in the house with all the windows. I’ve got a desk and stool, power right underneath my feet.
Since I’m now on the top floor I can also blast out Spotify without risk of bothering Pete who’s one floor down in the office, light my candles AND most importantly I’m two floors up from the kitchen so far less temptation to go on the hunt for regular snacky snacks – you all know what I mean 😉 I’ve got my 2l water bottle, the en-suite if I need the loo so I think I *might* like it up here. I just have to remember not to rock backwards and forwards on my stool, 3 legs aren’t as stable as 4…
The Multipurpose Bedroom
It’s not just working up here though that I’m using this space for. In creating a multi-purpose room, I’m also doing my online exercise up here, rolling out a mat on the floor and propping my phone against the wardrobe. Again, it keeps me out of the way and means I don’t have to cart around my exercise stuff from one room to another and grab a shower straight after. Obviously we’re sleeping up here and I occasionally spend a bit of time reading or watching Netflix too.
We shouldn’t be afraid of using our homes for everything we need them to be and previous “rules” about what rooms should and shouldn’t be used for no longer matter. You do what works for you. I would say imagine years ago when multi-generational families all lived together in one or two rooms, but I know that’s the reality for so many people today, people who may not have the benefit of outdoor space, who can’t escape and for who these weeks are tougher than the rest of us could ever imagine.
How I Used To Live In One Room
When I first moved to London I rented a studio room just a couple of minutes’ walk from Earls Court station. I was 21, knew no-one and had never lived in a city before. My room had no oven, a mattress on a ledge up a ladder, water that you couldn’t even filter to drink let alone cook with and a separate shared shower “room” with a hole in the wall where a trickle of cold water came out. I lived there for 18 months in total, 9 alone and then 9 with my previous boyfriend. It was nothing more than a bedsit but it was independence and I have many happy memories of trying to squish 10 people in for the smallest house parties imaginable.
Despite now having more space than we could ever need, I’ve never forgotten my first home in London from almost 20 years ago. I’ll always be grateful that that one room kept me safe and warm and I was able to live, sleep, eat and function in that one small room. Not so much creating a multi-purpose room in that case but being borne out of necessity. It was a home that set me on the path to where I am now and for me this time will never be about being stuck at home, but being safe at home. I’m one of the extremely fortunate, privileged ones and I think about it every day.
My Favourite Tiny Home
I hope this has maybe helped you to see your home or rooms within it in a new light, to see how you can make the most of the space you have no matter how big or small. I’ll leave you with one of my absolute favourite Instagram accounts, Tiny Miss Dolly On Wheels. Never have I been so jealous of the teeniest of living spaces, enjoy!
Have you been creating a multi-purpose room at home since lockdown? I’d love to hear about them.